October 16th, 2006
For voters interested in making the environment a priority with legislative candidates, there’s probably only one thing you need to know about Katy Hubener. She is the former Executive Director for Blue Skies Alliance – a major environmental group in the Dallas area that works on clean air issues.
It goes without saying that we need more pro-conservation votes in the Texas House. But even more important, we need Environmental Champions.
What’s an Environmental Champion? A Champion is a legislator who knows their facts on the issues; will stand up on the floor of the House to fight for clean air and water and work to educate other members; will use their privilege as a legislator to testify at committee hearings; and will file and fight for legislation to make it through the legislative process.
TLCV is confident that all of our endorsed candidates will be good votes for the environment, and probably even a few will be Champions. But we KNOW Katy Hubener will be a Champion.
This is the third time Katy, a Democrat, is running to be State Representative in District 106. She ran in 2004 against incumbent Ray Allen, and barely lost with more than 47% of the vote. When Ray Allen resigned in early 2005 behind a dirty cloud of questionable ethics, Gov. Perry called a Special Election to fill Allen’s seat for the rest of his term. This was the same February Special Election that elected TLCV-endorsed candidate Donna Howard to the Legislature. But unlike Donna Howard, Katy came up short – this time by a just a few hundred votes in an election that only saw a total of 5000 votes.
The question remains: Is the third time a charm for Katy? We believe so.
Special Elections are a strange beast, and when you are talking about race with a turnout of only 5,000 voters, it’s difficult to analyze voter sentiment or future outcomes for any particular district. And when it’s a race as close as Katy’s, which ended up hinging on a few hundred votes, it’s even harder. One thing is for sure, a significant portion of District 106 is ready for change. We think Katy can capitalize on her past efforts and win this district.
Katy is running an aggressive campaign and has once again earned the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News. She also has excellent name ID – thanks to her two previous runs. We also think that Rick Perry and TXU’s decision to fast-track 18 coal-fired power plants – which will drastically impact Dallas’ already dirty air – gives voters a clear reason to elect a proven clean air advocate. And as the Dallas Morning News points out, Katy’s opponent, Kirk England, is a lightweight candidate with a “tenuous grasp” of the issues.
All of these factors, combined with an aggressive county-wide electoral strategy from the Dallas County Democratic Party, provide Katy with an excellent opportunity to unseat short-term incumbent, Kirk England.
If voters are paying attention – and we think they are – the clear choice is Katy Hubener. Let’s hope conservation voters in her district can make a difference and deliver a true Environmental Champion to the Texas Legislature. We need this one.